NEW Wolves boss Stale Solbakken has held talks with Sunderland target Steven Fletcher over the persistent speculation on the striker’s future.
Fletcher, along with Aston Villa frontman Gabby Agbonlahor, remain on Sunderland’s hitlist as Martin O’Neill bids to boost an attack depleted by the summer departures of forwards Nicklas Bendtner and Asamoah Gyan.
In a perfect world, Wolves would like to keep Fletcher at Molineux after the Scottish striker netted 12 times for the Premier League’s basement boys last season.
But Wolves accept Fletcher, along with winger Matt Jarvis, are in demand from the top flight, and will not accept a figure less than £10m for either.
Solbakken spoke to the duo on Wolves’ return to pre-season on Monday and stressed that he expects them to retain their focus while they remain in the Black Country.
“I spoke to both of them and it’s always like this when you have a contract and you have other possibilities,” said Solbakken.
“You have to be open-minded and ready for every outcome and I think both of them are.
“At the moment they’re Wolverhampton players but there can be big fish out there who suddenly come in with a once-in-a-lifetime offer for them and also a very good deal for the club.
“We have to make sure we’re ready for that.
“Jarvis and Fletcher are good, attractive players, and know they can attract interest from the Premier League clubs. They probably think there’s an opportunity.”
“I expect them to honour the contract while I’m here, 100 per cent. Both said they had no problem with that.
“But the situation could change and it would be naive to say they’ll play for us no matter what, because unless you’re Lionel Messi and have a clause for millions, you can’t do that.”
Meanwhile, Sunderland have been linked with a move for wantaway Blackburn midfielder Steven N’Zonzi.
The £5m-rated Frenchman has been left out of Blackburn’s pre-season training camp in Austria by boss Steve Kean and is expected to leave Ewood Park before the end of the transfer window.
Arsenal, Spurs and Aston Villa are also monitoring N’Zonzi.